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Today’s issue of The Scotsman carries an intriguing tale of the Wizard Laird of Skene, in Aberdeenshire, and his visit from the Devil:

The wizard’s coachman was named Kilgour and was well used to his master’s eccentricities – but nothing could have prepared him for the night the devil came calling.

Kilgour was ordered to prepare the coach and horses at midnight to transport his special guest from Skene House, the family mansion. But the laird made Kilgour promise that on no account was he to turn round and look at the stranger.

As the coach and horses sped through the dark countryside, the laird told Kilgour to take the more direct route across the Loch of Skene. There had only been one night’s frost and the coachman said such a journey would be impossible – but the wizard told him not to worry, the ice was strong enough.

The night would have passed without incident had Kilgour’s curiosity not got the better of him. As they were approaching the other side of the loch he did what his master had told him not to do – he turned round. What he saw terrified him. For there sat the unmistakable horned, cloven-footed figure of the devil himself – Auld Nick.

As soon as Kilgour turned to look the ice cracked, the devil turned into a raven and flew off and the coach and horses sank to the bottom of the loch. Whether the laird and his coachman escaped depends on which variation of the tale you hear.

Much more here.


A splog is the bastard stepchild of spam and blog. You may notice that your comments are filled with invitations to gay spanking sites, casinos, dubious prescription drugs, and so on. There are also “blogs” which are nothing more than linkdumps, intended to generate revenue from Google AdSense or similar schemes. They clog up search engines and they blight the blogosphere.

If you’re running a WordPress installation on your own site, you should definitely install the Akismet extension, which kills the splog comments very well. (If your blog is hosted on WordPress, like this one is, congratulations! Akismet is built right in)

You can also help clear the airwaves of those crappy link sites by reporting them to Cleaning up the blogosphere one splog at a time. and using their promotion buttons on your own site. Other good anti-splog sites include SplogSpot, and

Oh, and check out all these “Andy Curry” horse training blogs/splogs. WTF is this guy doing?!

Reposted from my other site, Bridlepath.

UPDATE: Rob at Moneyshots asks some very pertinent questions about who’s behind the SplogReporter site–it does seem awfully opaque, doesn’t it?! What are they really gathering?!

July 2006
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